Monday, October 09, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Australia | Aboriginal Radio Licence Revoked

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned that in Perth, Western Australia, a local Aboriginal group is fighting the broadcast regulatory authority, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) over the loss of their community radio station licence.

Iva Hayward Jackson, the chairman of the Western Australian Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal Corporation (WAAMA) is refusing to give back the station's licence for 6AR Perth, 100.9FM that the ACMA has cancelled.

The saga started when in May the ACMA received several complaints from listeners that Radio Station 6AR was not "Aboriginal" enough. The authority investigated and issued tougher compliance regulations to the broadcaster.

6AR has not broadcast since September 1.

‘ACMA’s decision to cancel the licence is not one that has been taken lightly,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman. ‘We had worked very hard with WAAMA to ensure it reflected the listening needs of Perth’s indigenous population. This included our imposing additional licence conditions.’

Nothing more has been heard from Mr Jackson.

The licence has not been surrendered.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News suggests that ACMA goes on "walkabout"**.

Whatever the reasons for the licence revocation, this is not the way to handle the situation otherwise it will look like the mainly - Caucasian administration is not understanding the ways of the Aboriginals, the indigenous Australians.

Interesting to note that a Sydney court has recently ruled that Australian Aborigines do have some rights to ownership to chunks of that city.

**My understanding is that "Walkabout" is what Aborigines do. They go into the Bush, to confer with the spiritual world - their ancestors. It is a state of mind.

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